Germany doesn’t mind that its citizens have borne a disproportionate cost for developing the solar industry, a German energy official said Friday, because Germans benefit from developments in other countries, notably fracking in the United States. “Other countries are profiting from what we did, but that is fine,” he said at the Dirksen Federal Senate Building in Washington D.C. “As we are profiting from the shale revolution right now in the U.S. as the price of gas is going down dramatically in Europe. So that’s also some sort of helping each other.” Germans launched their Energiewende, or energy transition, by paying solar electricity producers 50 eurocents per kilowatt hour. That’s about 59¢ American, almost five times the average cost of electricity to a U.S. consumer. But in the last two years, thanks to plunging solar prices spurred in large part by the German market, that level of support has fallen to 4 eurocents for solar PV. Wind also costs Germany about 4 eurocents, and a recent offshore-wind proposal seeks no government support. “We went into a not-at-all mature technology—in terms of PV, in terms of wind energy, in terms of bioenergy, in terms of geothermal energy—and said we’ll pay whatever is necessary in order to make the projects bankable and in order to make the projects fly,” Herdan said at a briefing sponsored by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. Forbes

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